What is the Surest Way to Increase Transit Ridership?

Eric Jaffe discusses findings reported in the upcoming issue of <em>Transport Policy</em> that compare the relative effectiveness of subsidizing fares, regulating auto use, and expanding systems to increase transit ridership.
June 10, 2012, 11am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Using data from 41 major cities around the world, a group of Chilean researchers led by Louis de Grange of Diego Portales University ran a total of 16 econometric models comparing the three methods identified above.

According to Jaffe, "After controlling for key demographics the researchers found a consistent pattern: System expansion increases transit ridership a little. Car regulation increases it a lot. And fare subsidies have no effect at all."

"Despite the poor showing of fare subsidies, De Grange and colleagues don't mean to imply they should be eliminated. Rather, the numbers just suggest that subsidizing transit is the wrong policy to implement if a major city's main goal is increased transit ridership or decreased car use."

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Published on Friday, June 8, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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